Day 112 – 120 Into New Mexico
Yesterday was so, so lazy. I stayed in a hotel room watching tv most of the day. I don’t feel particularly bad about watching an NCIS marathon, though.
Slow roll out from Pagosa snagging a new pair of socks via a darn tough exchange. And a new filter since the old one failed its integrity test. Pierre, Rick Flair and I hitched out of town together. It took maybe 30 minutes to land a ride. Very glad for the ride though I was trying not to be car sick for most of the trip.
Only hiking 12ish miles out of town and we thought it’d be easy though there were some intense blowdowns.
Theme of the day: getting lost. Never terribly badly but I ended up off trail a number of times. Added some extra mileage, elevation, scrambling, and annoyance to the day.
Aside from that, it was an easier day of hiking. Wasn’t in camp as early as I’d expected but comfortably before dark. The camp has more cow poop than anywhere I’ve camped; the footprint is earning its weight today. Both for the obvious and because the cracked tentpole grommet finally gave up and the footprint allowed me to jury rig a working tent.
Big Agnes is sending a field repair kit to chama and Cuba. Hoping it’ll get to chama before I do but if not it’ll be in Cuba. Talking with them was probably the most pleasant customer service experience I’ve had.
So much wind. It made what would’ve been an easy day rather tiring. While up on the ridge it was relentless. One gust blew me 5-6 ft off the trail. The wind was almost always a crosswind and with my pack on it tries (successfully, sometimes) to both spin me around and shove me sideways. At times it probably looks like I was stumbling drunk.
All that said, we ended up in a well sheltered cozy campsite. And we’re done going over 12k for the remainder of the trail! Small steps.
Surprisingly good night of sleep for being high on a ridge on a windy night. Cold morning, though; upper 20s but very windy. Once I was out from behind the crest of the ridge it was as windy as yesterday. Booked it down the trail while wearing most of my layers.
Quick hitch into Chama. It feels weird being here after so long. I’ve thought about it as being the end of Colorado and the mountains. It does seem to mark the end of the high mountains, though. It’s much smaller than I had envisioned and a tad spread out.
Last state! Less excitedly, I said bye to Rick Flair who is now done with his thru-hike. And temporarily to Pierre who is staying an extra day in Chama.
The trail was almost immediately easier than the past few days. Fairly short day out of town and we got to camp before dark for a leisurely ish camp setup. Though toward the end of dinner it got cold *quick*. Relatively comfort to numb hands over the course of a couple minutes.
Looking forward to New Mexico and, frankly, some easier hiking.
Saw the partial solar eclipse today. We didn’t get quite to the path of totality, but the sun was probably 80% occluded. We sat around for a while to watch it; very cool, also, very cold.
Shortly after a couple hunters walked by and it turned out they were the ones who got into an argument with Tangent about him being in the way when they were shooting (or aiming, at least) across the trail.
The rest of the day was uneventful. The trail in New Mexico is *much* easier. Though it’s been surprising just how quickly it gets cold at night. Cooked dinner in the tent which feels luxurious, or at least, warm. Though the fuel cannister I’ve been carrying since Rawlins bit the dust. It lasted a long time, though I should’ve paid more attention to how low it’d gotten, whoops.
Catch up journaling. Fairly long day – hiked til a bit after dark before calling it and camping a couple miles short of our goal. Fortuitous since Brock’s headlamp promptly died. Hana and Brock let me bum a bit of fuel, so I had a hot dinner (refried beans and cheese) despite my mismanagement. Thanks guys!
The main trail feature for the day was a ‘short’ cut which saved maybe half a mile and probably no time whatsoever due to the amount of scrambling. Managed to put a hole in my sun shirt during it, grumble. The Icarus shrine was amusing though. And the podcast I was listening to mentioned Icarus probably ten minutes before hiking up to the shrine.
Today kinda sucked. The trail in the morning was rather confusing and as a result, I think, Brock and Hana passed me without any of us realizing it. I didn’t see them until we got to town as they thought I was ahead of them and took fairly short breaks.
Also, there were a bunch of ‘hey where’d the trail go’ moments. At one point near ish ghost ranch I got fed up with this and went bushwhacking cross country and cut off a loop.
Where I found this guy 😥. I spent awhile trying to get him free; I didn’t have much optimism about it working though given that I was by myself and had limited useful tools (read: dead branches). I tried to dig out his rear legs to remove the suction. It did let him wiggle his hind legs some. Which gave me some worries of success and getting kicked. I also avoided the front legs as I was leery of being in range of his antlers. After an hour and change I realized I didn’t have enough water to remain there and still make it to the road later. And I left 😢.
Rage hiked a rather hot stretch to the road and hitched into Abiquiu fairly quickly to meet the others at a rather expensive gas station store.
Day 120 – Zero in Abiqufiu
Zeroing today to let Pierre catch up. Also it’s a fairly cheap and cute little camp. Rented a room that’s essentially an adobe box with a power outlet. Cozy, though I slept poorly mostly thinking about that elk. I did get the idea to call the ranger district and give them the coordinates and they, I think, are sending a fire crew out to scope it out. So I feel a bit better now.
Spending the day at this camp without anywhere to go (or means to get there) is relaxing. Allows for catching up on this blog and making end of trail plans.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.